Democrats & Liberals Archives

Democrats: Defenders Of Liberty

The GAO just released a report exposing the irresponsible job Republicans have done securing our sea ports and harbors from deadly attacks by shadowy terrorist networks with weapons of mass destruction. Thank God Democrats still remember 9/11 and are working to defend this great nation despite the distractions and obstructions of the ruling Republican Party.

The GAO report highlights the consequences of the Republican Congress' underfunding and neglect of homeland security including,

  • The US Customs program set up to inspect shipping while still in foreign ports inspects a mere one third of one percent of the containers before they arrive in American port cities.
  • Only 17.5% of containers classified as "high-risk" get inspected before entering US ports.
  • Radiation detection equipment is untested and of unknown reliability.
  • And hundreds of companies in a government partnership program have been exempted from inspections.

This week also saw experts testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the Global Threat Reduction Initiative which is charged with tracking, securing, and recovering loose nukes and radioactive materials that could be easily transformed into nuclear "dirty bombs" is critically underfunded,

"Incredibly, even though our way of life is at stake here, we are pursuing a business as usual approach to preventing nuclear terrorism. The price of slow action could easily be loss of life, property and freedom on an unprecedented and catastrophic scale," testified Joan Rohfling of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

For four years now, Democrats have been pointing out how the United States is still highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks on our port cities with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons - and writing legislation to do something about it. They've been routinely ignored and overruled by the Republican majority in Congress and the White House who are busily throwing hundreds of billions of dollars into an unnecessary war in Iraq, giving trillions of dollars in tax cuts to corporate interests and wealthy individuals, irresponsibly spending half a trillion dollars on a poorly written Medicare program that only benefits the pharmaceutical industry, and promoting a multi-trillion dollar Social Security privatization plan that does nothing to address the program's financial problems.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D - Calif.) (who is also doing good work for our soldiers in Iraq by fighting to get them the roadside bomb jammers they so desperately need) recently introduced the Seaport Multiyear Security Enhancement Act (S.1032) to finance port security projects within the Department of Homeland Defense. Write your Senators and urge them to support it.

Senator Feinstein (D - Calif.) just introduced the Homeland Security FORWARD Funding Act of 2005 (S.1013) to allocate security funding to cities according to their risk of being attacked. If you believe port cities like New York, New Orleans, Portland, and San Francisco are more vulnerable to terrorists with WMD than places like Allentown, Bakersfield, and Oklahoma City, urge your Senators to support this bill.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D - NY) just introduced the Dirty Bomb Prevention Act (S.1150) to improve tracking of radiological materials exported to foreign countries because "FedEx does a better job at tracking a pair of socks ordered from a catalog than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does at tracking radioactive materials." Urge your Senators to support this bill.

I have no idea why our Republican representatives are more interested in packing the courts with their activist judges than protecting American lives, but since they control the House, the Senate, and the White House, they set the agenda. And it's going to be on their heads when bin Laden (whom they've failed to kill or capture - or even continue to pursue) and al Qaeda set off one of those loose nukes President Bush is so casual about securing in San Francisco or New Orleans in one of the 83% of "high-risk" shipping containers that still enter this country uninspected.

Support our Democratic representatives' efforts to secure America, and thank God some members of Congress still remember 9/11.

Posted by American Pundit at May 27, 2005 4:01 AM